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The last basketball Sunday in the Bob Devaney Sports Center promises to be a day of worship for the best point guard in Nebraska women’s basketball history … a day when Double Zero gets the unexpected opportunity to lead her Top 20 team to consecutive victory No. 11. If that happens, she will have directed the ultimate senior bookend Big Ten Conference Championship achievement to go with that freshman bookend Big 12 Conference Championship she helped engineer less than a year after receiving her high school diploma.
Should the Huskers upset No. 7 Penn State Sunday in a 5 p.m. tipoff, they will share the 2012-13 Big Ten regular-season championship with the Nittany Lions. Oh what a rare opportunity that will be to salute the recruit that changed the face of Nebraska women’s basketball and helped take the Huskers where they had never been before – the school’s first unbeaten regular season and the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Here we are three years later, and that point guard is already a legend as the third-leading vote-getter in a 14-day Huskers.com online fan poll to determine the All-Time All-Devaney Team (that covers the 1976-77 inaugural season through the 2012-13 final season).
I’m no John Bishop, but the popular P.A. man for Husker Hoops undoubtedly will dig deep to dramatize his final introduction of this prodigy turned all-star late Sunday afternoon: “And now, ladies and gentlemen, a 5-foot-9 senior point guard from Kentwood High School in Covington, Washington … Nummbbberrrr Doubbbble Zeeeeero … Linnndseyyyy Moore!!”
Meghin Williams’ Last Home Game Ever
Actually, that spotlight introduction will salute more than just Lindsey Moore because she represents each goal and every value that Nebraska women’s basketball holds dear. Whatever roar the Devaney Center crowd gives Moore also will honor her inimitable bond with her teammates, including fellow senior Meghin Williams, who has spent a career battling chronic foot problems, but still keeps her eyes on the prize. On her Twitter account, Williams tweeted this on Friday: “Woke up excited last game ever in Devaney last home game ever for me and @seym00re this Sunday and we are playing for a title! BE THERE!
On this special day, Moore’s ovation also will be a well-focused extension of the echoes for four legends joining this ultra-special leader on the All-Time All-Devaney Team. Somehow, it seems only appropriate that Moore’s newest teammates on a mythical team will be honored at the last women’s basketball game that will be played inside the Devaney Center. They include:
1) All-time leading vote-getter Kelsey Griffin, a 6-2 forward from Chugiak High School in Eagle River, Alaska. Talk about fate. If Griffin had not shattered an ankle during the summer of 2008, she would not have gotten the chance to play with Moore, who arrived as the top player from Washington state and a third-team Parade Magazine prep All-American. Credit Nebraska Associate Head Coach Sunny Smallwood with the recruiting catch of the decade – a freshman point guard who enabled Griffin to become a First-Team All-American, the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Winner, the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 WNBA draft choice of Minnesota.
2) Second leading vote-getter Karen Jennings, a 6-2 forward from Tri-Center High School in Persia, Iowa. Jennings represents Midwestern values and is the Huskers’ only female student-athlete in the most select group in all of collegiate athletics – the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Nebraska football players Dave Rimington and Dr. Patrick Tyrance are the only other University of Nebraska student-athletes who have earned that elite honor. Jennings won the Wade Trophy as the women’s college basketball National Player of the Year in 1993 – an honor that she still says “stunned, amazed and shocked” her.
4) Fourth-leading vote-getter Maurtice Ivy, a 5-9 guard from Omaha Central High School. It’s been a quarter century since Ivy led Nebraska to its only Big Eight Conference basketball championship and its first NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament appearance in 1988. Ivy became the league’s Big Eight Player of the Year at the same time she earned her third consecutive first-team All-Big Eight honor. Blessed with speed, jumping ability, talent and energy, Ivy will attend Sunday’s game. as Nebraska’s second all-time leading scorer behind Jennings. The top two scorers are the only Husker players to have their jerseys retired.
5) Fifth-leading vote-getter Anna DeForge, a 5-11 guard from Niagara, Wisconsin. DeForge was a two-time (1997 and ’98) Honorable Mention AP All-American before becoming the first player in Nebraska history to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association. After playing for several pro teams, DeForge became a 2004 WNBA All-Star and played against the USA Team. She also was a two-time First-Team All-Big 12 player, an All-Big 12 Tournament team selection and earned one of five spots on the Nebraska All-Century Team selected in 2000.
With five supremely decorated All-Time All-Devaney Team selections, Moore is right in the middle, and she has a chance to substantially enhance her national reputation Sunday. Double Zero is fully aware of the historic implications of the Penn State regular-season finale and used her unique Twitter account to rally the home crowd. “We need you Husker Nation for Sunday!!!” she tweeted. “Penn State is going to be ready for us!! Bring your friend everyone!!”
Twitter Tag Explains Moore’s Double Zero
You have to love Lindsey Moore’s Twitter handle … @seym00re … get it? Now you understand why she wears Double Zero … because of the two “zeros” in her last name. When you grow up watching your dad play YMCA basketball and two older sisters play the game, you have plenty of time to think about the little things, and it should surprise no one that her basketball idol/role model is Jason Kidd, a point guard who could do anything on a basketball court … dribble, drive, shoot long, shoot short, distribute the ball, keep turnovers to a minimum, steal the ball whenever possible and yes, rebound when needed. She has an unbelievable knowledge of where the ball’s going and where it will end up.
Sunday will mark a school record-tying127 consecutive starts for Moore, who became the first Nebraska women’s player to record a Triple-Double when she scored 12 points, snagged 10 rebounds and distributed 11 assists against Florida A&M on Jan. 2, two years ago. In her Husker bio, Jeff Griesch calls Moore “the best point guard in Nebraska history”, and I would know no one who would disagree with the Nebraska women’s basketball’s foremost authority on that. With 4,038 minutes, she’s played more than any other Husker in history, and she will tie Griffin’s record of 127 consecutive starts when the ball is tipped Sunday.
Griesch lists 36 major facts/accomplishments in Moore’s latest bio. And that doesn’t even count his assertion that Griffin is projected to be a potential top 10 pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. A month ago, New York Liberty General Manager Bill Laimbeer was seated courtside when Nebraska beat Ohio State in Columbus. Sitting next to him was Brian Agler, head coach of the Seattle Storm, the hometown WNBA team of a hometown girl who came to Nebraska and ended up ranked among the top 10 players in the Big Ten in eight statistical categories.
Stats Great, but Winning Most Important
Anyone who can hit more than 40 percent of her three-point shots and nearly 82 percent from the line at the same time she’s directing traffic, distributing to the hottest hands and keeping her assist-to-turnover ratio as the best in the Big Ten won’t have to climb mountains to reach the next level. And let’s certainly not forget the only statistic that really matters … winning … a category in which Moore excels.
Nebraska has won 91 times when Moore has started the game. The Huskers have lost 35 games in which she has started. That’s an overall winning percentage of .720. The headline on Steve Sipple’s column in today’s Lincoln Journal Star said it best: Just win, Lindsey, NU’s bottom-Line PG(Per Game). That, more than anything, is why Moore is on the All-Time All-Devaney Team before she finishes her senior season. At Nebraska, no one has won more than Lindsey m00re … and no one gets more out of a team than she does. In my book, that’s the truest point that rings loudest for any point guard, let alone one that would make even Jason Kidd proud.
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